My husband and I traveled with our extended family to Dreams Tulum December 28-January 4, 2013. In total, our group had eight adults and four kids, ages 5-9.
The Rooms: All of our rooms were in the Hacienda buildings. The buildings were not well labeled and it was pretty confusing figuring out where all of our rooms were relative to the others. We are fairly certain that they are in the process of renovating these buildings, based on how much our rooms varied. Our first room was quite outdated: it had terrible lighting, an old tube TV, old furniture, no clock, a shower with a shower curtain (ew), a bidet (double ew), and a hair dryer that smoked. We stayed one night in that room and switched the next day. What a difference! Bright lighting, fresh paint, updated furniture, a walk in shower and separate Jacuzzi bath tub (no bidet), flat screen TV, iHome clock, larger mini-fridge….all in all, MUCH better. The strange part of housekeeping is how they make the beds – the sheet on top of the mattress is too short and there is about 3” of mattress showing. We just pulled it down so that our feet weren’t on a bare hotel mattress. Some of our family stayed in a 1st floor room and they had a major ant infestation (which maintenance did come and spray for). TIP: The Hacienda buildings are furthest away from the action and very quiet, but are hit and miss for room renovations. If you are in the Haciendas, get a 2nd floor room to avoid potential ants.
The Pools: There are two pools, the “activity pool” and the “relaxing pool.” My husband and I (only ones without kids), spent most of our time at the relaxing pool. There’s much better sunshine and it is a little quieter, without the entertainment staff trying to get you to join in pool volleyball, etc. Not having a towel card was nice, but it meant that the towel game was rampant. People would reserve a couple chairs by the pool and a couple chairs on the beach, and they would still sit empty all day. My husband and I are early risers, so we ate breakfast every morning by 7:30 and went to the pool right afterward. TIP: If you wait until after 8:30am, you'll have a hard time finding chairs by the pool.
The Beach: It’s a nice white sandy beach, a little stony but fine to walk on. The swimming area is mainly kept clear of rocks but there are occasional ones. My husband and his two brothers went snorkeling several times – the first time they paid the boat to take them out to the further reefs, but after that, they just swam to the areas straight out from the beach. The red flag was flying on the beach, but they just talked to the lifeguard prior to going. The snorkeling wasn’t the best, but they still enjoyed it.
The Food: We enjoyed the food at this resort. Definitely the best food any of us have had at an all-inclusive to date. Buffet breakfasts were great – wonderful fruits and juices, eggs made to order. We could ask for “leche de soya” (soy milk) for our coffee and cereal – half our family can’t do cow’s milk. Our favorite lunch spot was El Patio for their fajitas. Ask for a side of beans and rice. TIP: If you aren’t starving at lunch time, just go to the hostess at El Patio and ask for a plate of chips, guacamole and pico de gallo - perfection! The walk-up Barefoot Grill by the activity pool is good for lunch, but the line can be quite long, and the cooks are inefficient (only cooking one or two orders at a time, even with their huge grill). TIP: There is a separate line for pizza. For dinner, we loved the Asian restaurant and ate there twice. The first night we went a little later and had to wait, so we had sushi at the adjacent sushi bar while we waited (also delicious). The Italian restaurant is wonderful as well. TIP: Be sure to go to the Coco Café! It took us about four days worth of asking for leche de soya, but finally they got and kept a carton back there for our fancy coffee drinks. Also, don’t miss the smoothies behind Coco Café (just walk around the outside of the building). He’s open 11:30-4:30 and there are awesome smoothies, many without milk or yogurt.
Tulum Ruins: We woke up one morning and it was cloudy and cooler, so we decided to go to the Tulum ruins. We had talked the day before with our “tour operator” at the hotel, and a half day excursion would be $50 per person ($600 for the 12 of us), which we weren’t crazy about. Instead, we got a van from the lobby to drive us both ways (just figure out what time you want the driver to pick you up and specify where. We only wanted two hours at the ruins and that was plenty of time). The ruins are literally a five minute drive from the hotel. There is a train that you can ride from the entrance to the ticket booth, but we didn’t bother with that. Also don’t bother with any of the “official” booths along the sides of the roads. Walk straight up to the ticket booth to where you pay to enter. We did get a tour guide – directly to the left of the ticket booth. He was $50 for a 45 minute tour. Ticket/entrance fees are $5 per person, and the tour guide got the four kids in free. So our total for transport, tour guide and tickets was $150 for all of us. TIP: on Sundays, Mexican locals get free entrance. When we were there over the holidays, the “free” line was about a half mile long. So if you’re in a long line on a Sunday, just look around and if you look a little more touristy than the folks around you, keep on walking towards the front of the line until you see a much shorter line for paying guests.
The Spa: The normal prices at the spa are steep ($150 for a 50 minute massage). TIP: They do have deals everyday of the week, so just ask. I ended up getting a facial for $75. The entire spa area was very, very nice.
Overall: Dreams Tulum was an awesome resort, despite being fully booked while we were there. We all thoroughly enjoyed our week, both we as a couple and our family members with kids. The resort is a little bit of a hike from the airport (about 2 hours if you’re in a bus stopping at other hotels, but only about 1 hour 15 minutes if you get a private van), which makes for very long travel days. After checking in, the front desk directed us to the “VIP Services” desk, which we knew would be timeshare info, so we just didn’t go over there, and never encountered it again. Also, while we were there, we celebrated my father-in-law’s 64th birthday, and we worked with concierge to have a cake made and delivered to one of our rooms (for a $30 fee, of course). TIP: Wi-Fi isn’t free anywhere. If you ask the concierge, they will let you use their computer to send an email back home saying that you’ve arrived safely, and let you check into your flights. (If you ask really nicely, they might even let you check out a college football bowl game score!). Our best advice is to do everything a little early if the resort is fully booked. If you get to the pool a little early and go for meals a little early, you won’t have to wait for anything.
- Also Known As:
- Dreams Tulum
- Dreams Tulum Hotel
- Dreams Tulum Resort Spa
- Dreams Tulum Resort
- Dreams Tulum Riviera Maya
- Dreams Resort Tulum
- Dreams Tulum Mexico
- Sunscape Tulum
- Dreams Resort Spa Tulum
- Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico
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